Carlos Correa Goes Full Minnesota on Keynan Middleton After “Cheater” Comments

Unless he has pitched for a team that you cheer for or you are really big into fantasy baseball, you probably have no idea who Keynan Middleton is. But last night, the 29-year-old Chicago White Sox reliever struck out Carlos Correa in the top of the 9th inning, to beat the Minnesota Twins for the second straight game.

Middleton pumped to strikeout a cheater

Afterward, Middleton talked to media and went out of his way to mention that game-ending dual vs Correa. See, the now Sox reliever spent parts of his first five MLB seasons in the AL West (Angels, Mariners), the same division as Correa’s former team, the Houston Astros. And, clearly, Middleton hasn’t forgiven or forgotten the Astros’ cheating scandal that dates back to that time.

“I knew I was going to face Correa, and I don’t like him. So it was kind of cool,” he said. “I like that. I enjoyed that a lot. … I mean, he’s a cheater.”

Keynan Middleton (Quote via AP)

Well, the White Sox and Twins play again on Thursday. It’s a day game (Stream on Fubo TV – 1:10 PM CT) so media and players gathered in the locker rooms at Guaranteed Rate Field early. Of course, Correa was quickly asked for a response to Middleton’s “cheater” comments.

Carlos Correa responds in very Minnesota way

Carlos Correa is a calculated individual but he has, from time to time, made locker room remarks that raise eyebrows. This morning, however, he decided on a very Minnesota approach to the situation.

“I’ve heard worse. I’m just glad [Keynan Middleton] is doing good and he’s playing good and he can take care of his family. Obviously, he’s tough. He’s getting better and that’s why he’s pitching high-leverage situations for [the White Sox]. I’m just glad he’s up her again and performing and providing for his family.”

Carlos Correa (Quote via Dan Hayes – Twitter)

Dan Hayes (The Athletic) calls Correa’s response “diplomatic”. Minnesotans, however, will see this quote and call it a “passive-aggressive” beatdown. Remember earlier in this blog, when I mentioned that Keynan Middleton played parts of his first five seasons in the AL West? Well, the other parts of those seasons were played in the minor leagues, where it was probably much more difficult for Middleton to “take care of his family”.

Just a guy trying to take care of his family…

In fact, Middleton has played professional baseball under the MLB umbrella for a decade (since he was 19 years old) and only once has he spent an entire season in the big leagues. It happened in 2020, when minor league baseball was cancelled because of the pandemic. It seems obvious that Carlos’ comments are under-the-radar shots at Middleton’s inability to stick in the big leagues.

Speaking of “taking care of a family”… Keynan Middleton has made $4 million over his 7-year MLB career (Spotrac). Correa, on the other hand, has made $97 million in 9 MLB seasons and his current contract with the Twins guarantees him another $160 million through 2028.

Middleton’s career is not guaranteed beyond 2023. He’s an aging righty who will become more expensive next season, when his arbitration status fully expires. But at least he’ll be able to tell his kids about that time he struck out Carlos Correa in an early May regular season game.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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